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Reflecting on life following a milestone birthday

I turned 30 this September. I spent it in Colombo with one of the best people I know at McKinsey.

Anna joined the firm as a senior business analyst with McKinsey Energy Insights. She works with our Performance Improvement team and is based out of Manila office. Before joining McKinsey, Anna worked as a drilling engineer in a multinational oil and gas company and obtained her MBA in Singapore. She loves coffee and dancing and is currently trying very hard to keep her sugar habit in check.

Hi everyone,

I turned 30 this September. I spent it in Colombo with one of the best people I know at McKinsey.

Colombo is a stunning city - in some ways it reminds me of home, without the traffic. My more adventurous friends found a good itinerary involving temples, cozy cafes and fantastic crab in the heart of the city.

I spent most of my birthday learning. I had my computer out on an open table when I left and came back to found that a glass had toppled over onto my computer. I discovered promptly that water on your keyboard is a sure way to make sure it never works again. I also discovered that an external keyboard is the easiest fix.

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At the Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo

My second learning was that Google is my best friend. I was browsing for some nice jewelry (partly to mourn my age, but also because Sri Lanka is meant to produce a lot of gemstones and I’m as susceptible as the next woman). I was on the verge of paying for a nice-looking pair of earrings when I Google-checked the store and found out that they had a lot of complaints on their Facebook page about selling fakes.

There is certainly an element of introspection for me as I reflect on my (almost) two years at McKinsey, and how I want to spend the next couple of years.

I have spent the last two years growing, meeting the smartest people I know, and being at my best and my worst and my most tired. I have met people whom I would work with again in a heartbeat and people with whom I didn't feel the same connection. At the same time, being pushed allows me to cut through the noise and prioritize the things that are most valuable to me. And for that, I can only be grateful.

I think for next year, my goal is to make this life sustainable. No excuses - I think it’s time I take care of my physical well-being: sleep more, eat better, exercise regularly - so that I can be my best self.

Until next time,